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Hot & Not – 18th September 2011

The MLB playoff race is getting hotter, the NRL and AFL are reaching the deep ends of finals, there's plenty going on in the world of cricket and much more! Let's see who's hot and who's not this week in sport;

Who's Hot?

Michael Hussey – Two weeks in a row for the Western Australian veteran who continues to smash the Sri Lankan bowling attack to all parts of the ground. 370 runs at 92.50 so far in the series speaks for itself, however each time Hussey has come in to bat, Australia have been in a spot of trouble (3/91, 3/61, 3/116 and 4/120). The old dog has still has some bark and I expect him to go on for a few more years yet.

West Coast Eagles – A Preliminary Final awaits the Wooden Spooners of 2010, what a remarkable turn-around!! Although they're massive under-dogs against Geelong, it is finals football and anything can happen… Could they achieve the unthinkable, going from last to first?

Sam Stosur – Last Monday morning (AEST), Sam Stosur wrote her name into the Australian Tennis history books with a sensational win over Serena Williams in the US Open Final. Now ranked No. 7 in the world, Stosur has proven her ability and could easily progress on to become the World No. 1. Go Aussie Go!

Noble Park Football Club – The boys from Noble Park continued their dominance of the EFL by smashing Scoresby in the Division 1 Grand FInal on Saturday, by 70 points in front of aproximately 10,000 people. The Club has now recorded 24 senior premierships and is without doubt, the best suburban football club in Victoria.

Kansas City Royals – Just over a week ago, the Royals were looking certain to finish on the bottom of the AL Central Division table, however 7 wins in a row have given their fans hope for next season. That, along with Minnesota's form slide has seen them jump off the bottom of the table.

San Francisco Giants – 7 wins in a row have helped narrow the gap to 5 games behind Arizona in the NL West Division, however playoffs are still unlikely. Still, let's see how things pan out over the next two weeks!

Swansea FC – Their first win in the Premier League after a 3-0 thrashing of West Brom earlier this morning (AEST). Sinclair, Lita and Dyer all scored within 50 minutes to ensure the Swans would be celebrating long into the tonight!

Lancashire County CC – The curse has been broken and the Roses have their first County Championship in 77 years. PJ Horton (1040 runs) and Stephen Moore (1013 runs) were the star batsmen during the 2011 campaign, whilst 36-year-old Gary Keedy (61 wickets) and 37-year-old Glen Chapple (55 wickets) did the damage with the ball… Not bad for a bunch of cricketing veterans!

Who's Not?

Phil Hughes – Since making 350 runs in his first 2 Tests, Hughes has scored just 488 runs at 24.33 from a further 11 Tests. How much longer can the selectors persist with him? The Australian public demans more runs and they've well and truly lost patience with the young opener, who continually plays rash shots.

Arsenal FC – 1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses in the first 5 games of the new season doesn't sound THAT bad, however a goal difference of -8 highlights just how poor Aresnal's defence is. It's going to be a tough season for the Gunners and if they don't turn it around quickly, the unthinkable (relegation) might even be on the cards.

Minnesota Twins – 7 losses in a row for the Twins and they find themselves with the second-worst record in all of baseball, behind the lowly Houston. It's getting really ugly.

Chicago White Sox – Just 2 weeks ago, the Sox were an outside chance to win the AL Central Division however a winning streak from Detroit, as well as 7 losses in a row by the Sox has seen the gap widen to 14.5 games with just 10 remaining… The focus shifts to next season.

Australian Wallabies – A shock 15-6 loss to Ireland is likely to see them face South Africa in the RWC Quarter-Final and New Zealand in the Semi-Final… The degree of difficulty just got a lot harder.

Subiaco Oval's Operations Manager – 16 premierships ensure Carlton fans provide the rest of society with their fair share of gloating… Playing the Carlton Theme Song when the Australian National Anthem has been announced will only make things worse!

Davis Cup Event Manager – The Davis Cup tie between Australia and Switzerland is locked at 2-2, with Llewyton Hewitt and Stanislas Wawrinka stuck in the 5th set of the deciding match, Wawrinka leading 5-3. Play on Day 3 started at 11:00am (AEST) and had two matches scheduled, yet the event organisers didn't factor in that natural daylight would end before 6:00pm. Sure enough, the Tomic/Federer match went 4 sets and the Hewitt/Wawrinka match has gone 5… Back we come tomorrow. Very poor planning has lead to this outcome which would have been avoided if play had started at 10:00am.

What are your thoughts? Have I missed anyone? Please post a comment below!

DJC

*** Many thanks to Mitch who has provided the artwork for this week's edition of Hot & Not. Having previously provided artwork for The Age for a number of years, Mitch has recently joined the team at Pen & Paper Sports. Be sure to keep your eyes open for his latest pieces!

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